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Ask RV Bill - September 2016

RV BillQ- Hi Bill and Jenn, It was great meeting you at the Leavenworth Thousand Trails. I do have a question that you could possibly help me with. I have a 2007 Teton Homes fifth wheel. About a year ago, the bedroom slide out began stopping before it closed all the way, approximately 2 inches shy. I gained access to the mechanism under the bed and shored up the wood braces that kept the hydraulic ram in place to no avail. I can’t see anything that stopping the slide out from closing all the way, any suggestions?

Thanks!, Travis

A- Hey Travis, It’s kind of strange the issue started all of a sudden; it looks like you’ve done most of the homework trying to diagnose the problem. A couple of suggestions that may help, The hydraulic ram would be the first suspect on the list, assuming that nothing is hanging up or stopping the slide from closing all the way. With Teton Homes out of business, getting a new hydraulic ram might be difficult. You probably could find somebody to rebuild your existing hydraulic cylinder but it may be easier to move the bracket that holds the hydraulic ram into place under the bed 2.5 inches towards the center of the fifth wheel. This would allow the ram to pull the slide room all the way in and just finish up against the coach. The only drawback is the ram may not push the slide out all the way out, although I suspect that it will. Check to see if there is an adjustment where the ram is attached to the slide room.

Let me know if you have any more questions.


Q- Bill, our 2003 Allegro Bus Motorhome came with Hehr dual pane windows direct from the factory. We love the dual pane windows, but on many of the windows the seal between the two pieces of glass looks somewhat like a snake crawling around inside. As it gets older it gets worse. I haven’t checked but I can only imagine what it would cost to replace those windows. Any suggestions?

Thank you for your help, Dennis and Debbie

A- Dennis and Debbie, The type of delamination on your dual pane windows has happened many times over the years and of course, it’s only occurs with dual pane windows. It seems as though manufacturers from time to time get a bad batch of windows that cause the problem. Whether it’s flexing or air leaking in between the panes it does not happen very often. There are companies that will literally remove the window from the coach separate the two pieces of glass clean them up put them back together with new seals and they look like new. There is a risk that the repair company could break one of the panes of glass, which will cost YOU extra. The job usually runs $300-$350 per window. If you could find one in your area perhaps you could repair one or two of them every year and it won’t hurt so much. Best of luck.


Q– We have a 1999 motorhome with a Fantastic Vent Fan in the living room area. We love the Fantastic vent, as the air movement is better than most. The problem we are experiencing lately is the lift motor and arm assembly that have broken and I am having trouble finding parts for this older vent. Any suggestions?

Thank you for your help, Paul

A- Paul, Replacement for these older Fantastic Vents will be more difficult to acquire in the future largely because the company was sold to Atwood. Unfortunately, Atwood have changed most of their parts including the lift motor and lift arm assembly which are not interchangeable with yours. Maybe check with your local repair center- they may have a used fantastic vent lying around. You could probably pick a couple of my pretty cheap and scavenge them for parts over the coming years. If you Google “Fantastic Vent parts” you will find several places that sell them. The problem is knowing exactly which ones will fit as a match with yours?

Check out they have diagrams that will help you match your parts to what they offer. I’m not sure what model do you have but hopefully their diagrams will help you match it up.


Q- Bill, I have a 2010 Carri-Lite fifth wheel made by Carriage. I am having a problem with the living room air conditioner made by Carrier Corp. Of course to make matters worse the problem is intermittent, I’m talking about the fan motor that will just stop running. I can hear the compressor run but not the fan. By turning it on and off a couple of times I can get it to run but it’s only a matter time before it stops again. Do you have any suggestions short of replacing the air conditioner? 15,000 BTU air conditioners have gotten rather expensive.

A- replacing the air conditioner is definitely a more expensive option. Carrier stopped making RV air-conditioners back in 2010 and doubtful that you be able to get parts from them at this point. I believe however that the problem with your intermittent motor is caused by a poor connection at the connector on the motor wires. The multi-pin connector that carrier used was a bit flimsy and after period of time and a little bit of heat some of the pins began failing. The easiest way is to hardwire around the connector, simply cut it out of the system and solder the wires together with some heat shrink tubing. If you’re still having intermittent trouble, there may be a problem internally with one of the motors such as the limit switch or the windings. You could have the motor rewound; this would be an option as a motor is probably no longer available for your model air-conditioner.

I’m not sure what happened with carrier but it was a fantastic air-conditioner, they used a dual fan system that was  more efficient then a single fan motor system used in most current model air conditioners.


Q- Hi Bill and Jenn, it was great seeing you at the Sunriver, Thousand Trails. I do have a question about our leveling jacks on our 1990 Damon intruder motorhome. Two of the jacks are leaking fluid and the jacks have ceased to function, which I believe is because the hydraulic fluid reservoir is nearly empty. I know where the hydraulic pump is but I don’t see the fluid reservoir. Have you got any suggestions? What type of fluid do I use?

Cheers, Joe and Syndi

A- Hey guys, it’s great hearing from you. How are your two handsome Boston Terrier pups? Our two Boston’s are missing the play sessions that they had with your dogs. Getting back to the hydraulic reservoir, on the 1990 Damon motorhomes the used HWH hydraulic jack systems. You were in the vicinity looking at the pump, as the steel reservoir is attached to the pump. You will recognize it by the chrome-plated cap that screws into the fill a hole in top of the tank. Remove it and add any kind of automatic transmission fluid other than synthetic. The best way to top off the tank is put in just enough trans fluid so that the Jack’s will retract completely; fill the reservoir within three quarters an inch of the bottom of the threads. Your leaky jack’s will more than likely get worse over time and they can be sent back to HWH Corp to be rebuilt or you can simply just order remanufactured leveling jacks directly from HWH and they come with a one year warranty. Give them a call and they can walk you through the process.

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